Evening courses: The right balance for you?Posted: January 20, 2014
Part time evening courses can be a great option for anyone looking to upskill and improve their career prospects without having to change too much in their daily lives.
Choose the right course for you
As there’s a large variety of part-time evening courses available it’s important that you track down the one that’s right for you – whether that’s in terms of the accreditation you get, the type of skills covered during the course, or even the timing and location of lectures.
Many people have taken to MOOC’s (Massive Open Online Courses) but these qualifications tend to come unaccredited so that’s something important to look out for when applying for courses. Look at who would be awarding the qualification, is it FETAC or HETAC for example?
Time management is usually a big factor with those who decide to study part-time. Evening courses allow you to manage your time effectively. Depending on your course the timetable may vary but the majority of courses run from 18:30-21:30 one evening a week, allowing you to spend your daytime and evenings as you wish free from lectures.
A part time course could give you that confidence boost needed to either seek a promotion or even alter your career path, now that you have that extra qualification. Your course may require you to participate in group course work, presentations etc all of which will help build your confidence.
Combining work and study
For those of us out in the working world it’s just not often practical to get time to upskill and, as a result, full-time education isn’t an option. Part-time courses represent a more practical alternative, they are also more cost effective too, but it helps if your company might be willing to contribute towards the expense of the course.
Gaining work experience is absolutely vital in improving your employability status. According to an article in gradireland’s Ireland’s 100 Leading Graduate Employers, 41.7 percent of employers perceived work experience to be more important than postgraduate study. An evening course provides a student with the time needed to gain valuable work experience that perhaps a full time student may not have.
Depending on the type of course you choose, some of the assignments are transferable to your work-life. For example in part-time business courses you will often be asked to draft up specific reports or procedures to implement directly into a business that you choose. The documents you draft tend to be aimed for use in real life applications and as a result many businesses tend to adopt practices their employees may have learned while completing their part-time course.
It is a known fact that qualifications certainly give potential employees the edge when it comes to candidate selection for job interviews or indeed for promotions. If you want to increase your chance of securing a job, especially within a particular industry, the more specialised your qualifications are, the more knowledge you are deemed to have regarding that particular field.
The financial burden of university fees can often times hamper your determination to pursue further qualifications. As a full time student, your time is restricted, and therefore maintaining a job can be overwhelming and sometimes near impossible. A yearlong part-time course will provide you with a qualification without the commitment to years of university fees, while giving you the necessary time to maintain a job. This could help eliminate the financial stress that comes with student life.
Additional qualifications demonstrate aptitude and application, which can stand to your benefit when discussing remuneration
Online learning is increasingly accepted as a method of course delivery. Digital platforms such as Moodle and Blackboard are being used alongside live classroom conferencing and distance learning part-time options are now available for those who don’t have easy access to a college campus.
Full time education isn’t your only option. A part time course will allow you to gain an internationally recognised qualification at times that are convenient to you while still maintaining a steady income.
For more information on further study visit www.postgradireland.com.
Daniel McMahon is an Education Officer at the Communications & Management Institute in Dublin. CMI provide a wide range of part time Diploma courses including evening or night classes and distance learning courses.